Client: Shedd Aquarium.
Agency: Shedd Aquarium (in-house). Andy Park, Artistic Director; Tynnetta
Qaiyim, Exhibit Director; Elizabeth Nelson. Director of Graphic Design; Kara
Kotwas, Senior Graphic Designer; Amanda Enser, Licensing Manager; Zoe
Hagburg, Erika Lawrence and Malissa Bruno, Aquarists.
Production and Post: The Whole Story, Chicago. Mark Androw, executive
producer; David Orr, director; Brian Clark, editor; Chris Ryan, visual
effects artist and compositor.
LOS ANGELES, CA—It’s not easy directing talent that has no bones, no blood
and no brains. But the results can be magical.
At least that’s true if you’re director David Orr and the one-stop
production house The Whole Story who recently created a commercial for
Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium and its new temporary exhibit on the mysterious
world of jellyfish. The disarmingly minimalist spot for
the puffy, translucent sea creatures, styled in bright, iridescent
hues, floating elegantly in space. Simple graphics invite viewers to
“encounter their mysteries.”
“I wanted to communicate a sense of wonder and fascination,” says Orr. “I
wanted people to really see how fantastic these creatures are.”
Orr and The Whole Story produced the spot in conjunction with the Shedd’s
in-house creative team. Orr shot the jellyfish in a tank at the aquarium,
working with a team of aquarists who encouraged the tiny animals (some not
much bigger than a contact lens) to hit their marks.
“Because they are transparent, they are tricky to shoot,” explains Orr. “We
shot most of them against black and inverted it during post production.”
Great care had to be taken to ensure the animals were properly handled while
encouraging them to move. “Fluctuations in water temperature can affect them
in various ways, and each type of jellyfish has a specific water temperature
that it prefers,” Orr notes. “There is a limit to how much you can
manipulate them. In the end, the creature is going to do what it’s going to
do – the trick is to anticipate their behavior and determine what
‘encouragement’ is going to get you the shot.”
In post production, Orr worked with The Whole Story editor Brian Clark and
visual effects artist Chris Ryan to design all the transitions and
animations, then make the jellyfish look and move the way he wanted them to.
In some cases, they used still frames to lay out their movement
“We wanted everything to feel effortless,” Orr says. “We wanted all of the
action and movement to originate with the jellyfish so that it all appears
The TV Commercial titled Jellies (Video) was done by In-house advertising agency for product: Shedd Aquarium (brand: Shedd Aquarium) in no country. It was released in the Feb 2011.